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  Stay Alert For Refinancing Opportunities  


Directory: Understanding Housing Values and Trends
Free ZEstimate For Your Home:  Gives you a free no-hassle home appraisal.
Mortgage & CD Rate Alerts:  Emails you an alert when mortgage rates drop.
Bankrate's Mortgage Rate Forecast:  Brings together expert forecasts for the coming months.
Bankrate's "Graph The Trend":  Shows how mortgage rates have changed over recent years.
Housing Price Index:  Gives housing prices for USA metropolitan areas.
Bankrate.com:  The Internet's banking and mortgage authority.
30-Year Mortgage Rate History:  Graphs mortgage rates since 1971.  
When refinancing, here are some more strategies to consider:

  • Time it right.  The standard "rule of thumb" is to consider refinancing whenever interest rates fall by a percentage point or two.  A better rule is to wait until the loan rate drops enough that you'll save $5,000 to $10,000 over the time you believe you'll own the home.  That could be thirty years, or very short if you think you'll be moving soon.

  • Get the right loan for your future.  If you still owe a lot of money on your mortgage, it's important to pay close attention to refinancing; if not (or if you'll be moving out in a few years) refinancing is less important.  A refinancing over twenty years could save about twice as much money as it would over ten years.

  • First, heck your mortgage's fine print.  It may require that a prepayment penalty be paid if you refinance (usually the penalty expires after a few years.)

  • Consult expert predictions.  If economic experts are predicting that mortgage rates will continue to fall, you can wait; otherwise, you should consider locking in the current rate by refinancing immediately.

  • Consider getting cash.  You can cash out some of your home equity at the same time you refinance your mortgage.

  • Figure out your break-even point.  For example, if your closing costs are $2,000 and you lower your monthly payment by $200, you'll break even in ten months.

  • Read the previous section of this page covering mortgages if you haven't already, to learn more tips.


(Next Gem: How To Lower Your Property Taxes)

 
   
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